There is nothing better than having your friends coming over for dinner. But being the host, sometimes makes it difficult to choose what to cook for them, especially if you have friends with different dietary restrictions like I do. That is why I have to come up with different creative dishes all the time. I think this is the best one so far because first of all WHO DOESN'T LOVE PASTA?!? Also, it is a very versatile dish and it is suitable for vegans, vegetarians, and if you use chickpea or corn pasta can be also gluten-free and low-fat. So this meal is suitable for everyone. Anyway, here is the recipe so you can surprise your friends too with this wonderful meal.
- 1 large onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 can of brown lentils
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 small carrot, chopped
- 1 can of diced tomatoes
- 2 tbsp of Tomato paste
- 1 tsp dried Basil
- 1 tsp dried Oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- Whole grain spaghetti (3-4 portions measured with Chef's Secret Tools Pasta measurer, depending on how saucy you want your pasta to be)
- 2 cups of vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Peel and dice the onion and garlic, chop the celery and the carrot. Heat a nonstick pan, then add the diced vegetables together with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Cook them for about 6-8 minutes until they soften.
- Add 2 tbsp of Tomato paste and fry the mixture for 1 more minute. Add the canned tomatoes, the bay leaf, and the vegetable stock and cook them until the mixture thickens.
- Remove the bay leaf and transfer the mixture in a food processor or a blender and blend it until you get a fine sauce. Put the mixture back in the pan and cook it for a few more minutes.
- Add the basil and oregano (you can also add garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder), then add the drained lentils and cook them for a few more minutes, season the sauce with salt and pepper.
- Put the spaghetti in boiling water with 1/2 tsp of salt. Prepare them according to the manufacturer's directions.
- Add the spaghetti to the hot sauce and mix them. Pour some of the water in which the spaghetti cooked if the sauce is too thick, season again if needed.
- Decorate it with fresh herbs (for a vegan option) or add some parmesan cheese (for a vegetarian option).
* Adding a bit of the water in which the spaghetti cooked will make the sauce shinier
* Never add oil to the pasta water. It unnecessarily increases the number of calories but also prevents the sauce from sticking to the pasta.